Conspiracy Theories

The Holocaust is a myth promoted to serve Jewish interests. The shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School were a false flag operation. Climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese government. These are all conspiracy theories.

Author: Quassim Cassam

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 9781509535842

Category: Political Science

Page: 140

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9/11 was an inside job. The Holocaust is a myth promoted to serve Jewish interests. The shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School were a false flag operation. Climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese government. These are all conspiracy theories. A glance online or at bestseller lists reveals how popular some of them are. Even if there is plenty of evidence to disprove them, people persist in propagating them. Why? Philosopher Quassim Cassam explains how conspiracy theories are different from ordinary theories about conspiracies. He argues that conspiracy theories are forms of propaganda and their function is to promote a political agenda. Although conspiracy theories are sometimes defended on the grounds that they uncover evidence of bad behaviour by political leaders, they do much more harm than good, with some resulting in the deaths of large numbers of people. There can be no clearer indication that something has gone wrong with our intellectual and political culture than the fact that conspiracy theories have become mainstream. When they are dangerous, we cannot afford to ignore them. At the same time, refuting them by rational argument is difficult because conspiracy theorists discount or reject evidence that disproves their theories. As conspiracy theories are so often smokescreens for political ends, we need to come up with political as well as intellectual responses if we are to have any hope of defeating them.
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Conspiracy Theories in American History

All conspiracy theories about the accident reject this version of events. The theories fall into three groups that allege, respectively, a conspiracy to place blame on Kennedy, a conspiracy to divert blame from Kennedy, and a conspiracy ...

Author: Peter Knight

Publisher: ABC-CLIO

ISBN: 9781576078129

Category: History

Page: 925

View: 696

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The first comprehensive history of conspiracies and conspiracy theories in the United States. * Over 300 A-Z entries on various events, ideas, and persons, as well as crucial supporting and refuting evidence, and competing explanations for the origins, history, and popularity of this mode of political thought * Primary documents from organizations promoting conspiracy theories * Contributions from over 100 international scholars with a full range of historical expertise * Separate section containing about 100 illustrative extracts covering the full range of American history, each with a brief headnote placing it in context
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Conspiracy Theories and Secret Societies For Dummies

Conspiracy. Theories. No organization that has been around as long as the Roman Catholic Church could possibly escape accusations of conspiracies. The church has engaged in its share of wrongdoings and persecutions over the last 19 ...

Author: Christopher Hodapp

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 9781118052020

Category: Social Science

Page: 384

View: 981

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Entering the world of conspiracy theories and secret societies is like stepping into a distant, parallel universe where the laws of physics have completely changed: black means white, up is down, and if you want to understand what’s really going on, you need a good reference book. That’s where Conspiracy Theories & Secret Societies For Dummies comes in. Whether you’re a skeptic or a true believer, this fascinating guide, packed with the latest information, walks you through some of the most infamous conspiracy theories — such as Area 51 and the assassination of JFK — and introduces you to such mysterious organizations as the Freemasons, the Ninjas, the Mafia, and Rosicrucians. This behind-the-curtain guide helps you separate fact from fiction and helps you the global impact of these mysterious events and groups on our modern world. Discover how to: Test a conspiracy theory Spot a sinister secret society Assess the Internet’s role in fueling conspiracy theories Explore world domination schemes Evaluate 9/11 conspiracy theories Figure out who “they” are Grasp the model on which conspiracy theories are built Figure out whether what “everybody knows” is true Distinguish on assassination brotherhood from another Understand why there’s no such thing as a “lone assassin” Why do hot dogs come in packages of ten, while buns come in eight-packs? Everybody knows its a conspiracy, right? Find out in Conspiracy Theories & Secret Societies For Dummies.
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American Conspiracy Theories

Are they becoming more common? More dangerous? Who is targeted and why? Who are the conspiracy theorists? How has technology affected conspiracy theorising? This book offers the first century-long view of these issues.

Author: Joseph E. Uscinski

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780199351817

Category: History

Page: 235

View: 250

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Conspiracies theories are some of the most striking features in the American political landscape: the Kennedy assassination, aliens at Roswell, subversion by Masons, Jews, Catholics, or communists, and modern movements like Birtherism and Trutherism. But what do we really know about conspiracy theories? Do they share general causes? Are they becoming more common? More dangerous? Who is targeted and why? Who are the conspiracy theorists? How has technology affected conspiracy theorising? This book offers the first century-long view of these issues.
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Conspiracy Theories and the People Who Believe Them

What can or should be done about the phenomenon? Combining systematic analysis and cutting-edge empirical research, this volume will help us better understand an extremely important, yet relatively neglected, phenomenon.

Author: Joseph E. Uscinski

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780190844073

Category: Political Science

Page: 537

View: 535

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Conspiracy theories are inevitable in complex human societies. And while they have always been with us, their ubiquity in our political discourse is nearly unprecedented. Their salience has increased for a variety of reasons including the increasing access to information among ordinary people, a pervasive sense of powerlessness among those same people, and a widespread distrust of elites. Working in combination, these factors and many other factors are now propelling conspiracy theories into our public sphere on a vast scale. In recent years, scholars have begun to study this genuinely important phenomenon in a concerted way. In Conspiracy Theories and the People Who Believe Them, Joseph E. Uscinski has gathered forty top researchers on the topic to provide both the foundational tools and the evidence to better understand conspiracy theories in the United States and around the world. Each chapter is informed by three core questions: Why do so many people believe in conspiracy theories? What are the effects of such theories when they take hold in the public? What can or should be done about the phenomenon? Combining systematic analysis and cutting-edge empirical research, this volume will help us better understand an extremely important, yet relatively neglected, phenomenon.
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Conspiracy Theories in Eastern Europe

Yet what is called an “official theory” may well turn out to be a “conspiracy theory” at some other time or place. Often, this leads to the following problem: theories labeled “conspiracy theories” at one time turned out to be warranted ...

Author: Anastasiya Astapova

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781000214796

Category: Political Science

Page: 310

View: 751

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This collection of state-of-the-art essays explores conspiracy cultures in post-socialist Eastern Europe, ranging from the nineteenth century to contemporary manifestations. Conspiracy theories about Freemasons, Communists and Jews, about the Chernobyl disaster, and about George Soros and the globalist elite have been particularly influential in Eastern Europe, but they have also been among the most prominent worldwide. This volume explores such conspiracy theories in the context of local Eastern European histories and discourses. The chapters identify four major factors that have influenced cultures of conspiracy in Eastern Europe: nationalism (including ethnocentrism and antisemitism), the socialist past, the transition period, and globalization. The research focuses on the impact of imperial legacies, nation-building, and the Cold War in the creation of conspiracy theories in Eastern Europe; the effects of the fall of the Iron Curtain and conspiracism in a new democratic setting; and manifestations of viral conspiracy theories in contemporary Eastern Europe and their worldwide circulation with the global rise of populism. Bringing together a diverse landscape of Eastern European conspiracism that is a result of repeated exchange with the "West," the book includes case studies that examine the history, legacy, and impact of conspiracy cultures of Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Ukraine, the former Yugoslav countries, and the former Soviet Union. The book will appeal to scholars and students of conspiracy theories, as well as those in the areas of political science, area studies, media studies, cultural studies, psychology, philosophy, and history, among others. Politicians, educators, and journalists will find this book a useful resource in countering disinformation in and about the region.
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The Nature of Conspiracy Theories

The answers to these questions are much harder to find than conspiracy theories themselves. There is a glaring disparity between the heat with which the topic is currently discussed and the knowledge informing the vast majority of such ...

Author: Michael Butter

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 9781509540839

Category: Political Science

Page: 210

View: 646

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Conspiracy theories seem to be proliferating today. Long relegated to a niche existence, conspiracy theories are now pervasive, and older conspiracy theories have been joined by a constant stream of new ones – that the USA carried out the 9/11 attacks itself, that the Ukrainian crisis was orchestrated by NATO, that we are being secretly controlled by a New World Order that keep us docile via chemtrails and vaccinations. Not to mention the moon landing that never happened. But what are conspiracy theories and why do people believe them? Have they always existed or are they something new, a feature of our modern world? In this book Michael Butter provides a clear and comprehensive introduction to the nature and development of conspiracy theories. Contrary to popular belief, he shows that conspiracy theories are less popular and influential today than they were in the past. Up to the 1950s, the Western world regarded conspiracy theories as a legitimate form of knowledge and it was therefore normal to believe in them. It was only after the Second World War that this knowledge was delegitimized, causing conspiracy theories to be banished from public discourse and relegated to subcultures. The recent renaissance of conspiracy theories is linked to internet which gives them wider exposure and contributes to the fragmentation of the public sphere. Conspiracy theories are still stigmatized today in many sections of mainstream culture but are being accepted once again as legitimate knowledge in others. It is the clash between these domains and their different conceptions of truth that is fuelling the current debate over conspiracy theories.
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Conspiracy Theories and the People Who Believe Them

What is interesting about much of the scholarly work in our domain is the assumption that there must be something wrong with belief in conspiracy theories. Philosophers have interrogated the idea that we should hold conspiracy theories ...

Author: Joseph E. Uscinski

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780190844097

Category: Political Science

Page: 384

View: 665

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Conspiracy theories are inevitable in complex human societies. And while they have always been with us, their ubiquity in our political discourse is nearly unprecedented. Their salience has increased for a variety of reasons including the increasing access to information among ordinary people, a pervasive sense of powerlessness among those same people, and a widespread distrust of elites. Working in combination, these factors and many other factors are now propelling conspiracy theories into our public sphere on a vast scale. In recent years, scholars have begun to study this genuinely important phenomenon in a concerted way. In Conspiracy Theories and the People Who Believe Them, Joseph E. Uscinski has gathered forty top researchers on the topic to provide both the foundational tools and the evidence to better understand conspiracy theories in the United States and around the world. Each chapter is informed by three core questions: Why do so many people believe in conspiracy theories? What are the effects of such theories when they take hold in the public? What can or should be done about the phenomenon? Combining systematic analysis and cutting-edge empirical research, this volume will help us better understand an extremely important, yet relatively neglected, phenomenon.
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Routledge Handbook of Conspiracy Theories

One of the purposes of a semiotic study of conspiracy theories is to explicate the invariant relations or mechanisms of meaning-making that are common to all representations of conspiracy theories. Theoretical tools from cultural ...

Author: Michael Butter

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9780429840586

Category: Political Science

Page: 680

View: 777

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Taking a global and interdisciplinary approach, the Routledge Handbook of Conspiracy Theories provides a comprehensive overview of conspiracy theories as an important social, cultural and political phenomenon in contemporary life. This handbook provides the most complete analysis of the phenomenon to date. It analyses conspiracy theories from a variety of perspectives, using both qualitative and quantitative methods. It maps out the key debates, and includes chapters on the historical origins of conspiracy theories, as well as their political significance in a broad range of countries and regions. Other chapters consider the psychology and the sociology of conspiracy beliefs, in addition to their changing cultural forms, functions and modes of transmission. This handbook examines where conspiracy theories come from, who believes in them and what their consequences are. This book presents an important resource for students and scholars from a range of disciplines interested in the societal and political impact of conspiracy theories, including Area Studies, Anthropology, History, Media and Cultural Studies, Political Science, Psychology and Sociology.
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Conspiracy Theories and the Failure of Intellectual Critique

In addition to continuing to maintain that conspiracy theorists tend to simultaneously believe contradictory theories, they also seem to accept some baseless stereotypes, such as the view that conspiracy theorists base their ideas on ...

Author: Kurtis Hagen

Publisher: University of Michigan Press

ISBN: 9780472133109

Category: Philosophy

Page: 353

View: 500

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Conspiracy Theories and the Failure of Intellectual Critique argues that conspiracy theories, including those that conflict with official accounts and suggest that prominent people in Western democracies have engaged in appalling behavior, should be taken seriously and judged on their merits and problems on a case-by-case basis. It builds on the philosophical work on this topic that has developed over the past quarter century, challenging some of it, but affirming the emerging consensus: each conspiracy theory ought to be judged on its particular merits and faults. The philosophical consensus contrasts starkly with what one finds in the social science literature. Kurtis Hagen argues that significant aspects of that literature, especially the psychological study of conspiracy theorists, has turned out to be flawed and misleading. Those flaws are not randomly directed; rather, they consistently serve to disparage conspiracy theorists unfairly. This suggests that there may be a bias against conspiracy theorists in the academy, skewing “scientific” results. Conspiracy Theories and the Failure of Intellectual Critique argues that social scientists who study conspiracy theories and/or conspiracy theorists would do well to better absorb the implications of the philosophical literature.
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